Raw organic apples on wooden background

It’s that time of year again when the air starts getting crisp, and the apples aren’t far behind! Apples are an autumn staple, so check out below for some fun apple activities to get you in the spirit of the coming season.


Of course, you could buy apple butter in the store, but where’s the fun in that? There’s nothing more satisfying than spending an afternoon lovingly creating something that you can enjoy for the rest of the season. Apple butter has limitless potential for spicing up any boring breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Give this recipe from Baked by Rachel a chance!

Stovetop Cinnamon Apple Butter

  • 2 ½ lb apples (roughly 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Peel, core, and slice apples. Add to 5-6 quart Dutch oven or extra-large saucepan. Toss apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over apples. Toss to coat well. Stir in apple juice (or apple cider) and vanilla.
  2. Cook over medium heat until apples are tender. Use an immersion to puree apples. Alternatively, transfer batches of apple mixture to a blender to process until smooth.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for between 1 ½ and 2 hours. Apple butter is done when it is thick and jam like. It should hold its shape on a spoon and not slide off immediately. You can also test by creating a straight line through the mixture with a spatula. If the mixture holds its shape and does not immediately close the gap, it is done.

Check out the large batch recipe and canning instructions here!


Wondering what to do with all the apple scraps you just created? Take a look at this homemade apple cider vinegar recipe from Wellness Mama. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits, including weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and even improved diabetes symptoms. It is an ancient folk remedy that people have been using for generations!

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

  • apple scraps
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  1. Clean a quart jar very well and let air dry. Fill the jar ¾ full with apple scraps.
  2. Dissolve the cane sugar into the cup of water. Pour sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add a little additional water if needed to make sure the apples are covered.
  3. Weigh down the apples with a fermentation weight or with a small glass jar. Any apples that are exposed to the air could mold.
  4. Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature. Leave it for approximately 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and to make sure no mold is growing.
  5. After 3 weeks, it will still smell fairly sweet. Strain the apple pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Recover and put the jar back in a dark spot for 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days. When the vinegar has reached the “tartness” you like, you can put a lid on it!

Obviously, both of these recipes are a little bit sweeter when made with one of our many varieties of apples here at Orr’s. Come down this season and see for yourself! We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Summer is almost over, and that means we at Orr’s are gearing up for our Fall Farm Fun Days!

This annual festival is the perfect way to combat the back-to-school blues. We’ll have plenty of fun activities, live music and good food to ring in the fall. Join us on Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday the 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There’ll be plenty of family-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained. They can take a hayride and explore Orr’s pumpkin patch, play on the moon bounce and try their hand at pumpkin painting. Tony M. Music will also be returning to the kid’s activity area this year.

Star of Disney Junior’s The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Spookley is the “official spokes-pumpkin” for National Bullying Month in October, but he’ll be greeting children during Fall Fun Days too! Spookley the Square Pumpkin will also be making visit between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on both days.

There’s plenty of fun for adults, too! Local bluegrass bands, The Hazards and Stoney Creek Bluegrass will perform on Saturday, and Copper Canyon Bluegrass and Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge Band perform Sunday. Over 40 craft vendors will be at Orr’s, making this the perfect time to do some early Christmas shopping.

Along with our produce and baked goods, plan to enjoy delicious food truck fare like Almost Heaven’s butterfly potatoes and funnel cakes or the pizzas, sliders and salads from Jill’s Mobile Kitchen. Parking is limited, so plan accordingly—carpooling with friends is a great (and fun!) option. Fall Farm Fun Days happens rain or shine, unless the weather is dangerous to our staff and guests.

To see a complete schedule for Fall Farm Fun days, visit their event page. We invite you to come celebrate with us!


If you can’t make it to Fall Farm Fun Days, we still encourage you to come visit us and we’ll help you get in the fall spirit! We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Autumn pears on wood

Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of opportunities to celebrate the sunshine and the food it brings us. Although pears are often skipped over for more famous fruits, they have a rich history and a variety of yummy uses today.

According to Top Food Facts, the Chinese consider the pear to be a symbol of immortality. The pear was also sacred to two goddesses in Greek mythology, and was used as a remedy against nausea during that time.

Pears also contain important antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and only contain about 100 calories, according to Medical News Today. Eating pears can help you lose weight, and even reduces the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Clearly, there are so many reasons to not forget about pears this season!

Below are a couple of recipes to ensure that you make use of the fresh pears that are growing in the orchard. Currently we have Bartlett, Magness and some Asian pears!


Although most people are familiar with berry preserves, pear preserves are just as delicious and versatile as their midsummer counterparts. Try this recipe from Taste of Home over ice cream, waffles, pork roast…the list goes on!

Pear Preserves

  • 16 cups peeled, sliced fresh pears (about 16 medium)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. In a stockpot, combine pears, sugar, water and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until mixture reaches a thick, spreadable consistency.
  2. Remove from heat. Ladle hot mixture into seven hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims.
  3. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  4. Place jars into canner, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Sweets aren’t really your style? Instead, try this humble salad from The New York Times that promises crisp deliciousness.

Spinach, Apple, and Pear Salad

  • 2 unripe pears
  • 2 crisp apples
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup raisins
  1. Thinly slice the pears and apples; put on a bed of spinach. Sprinkle with raisins and drizzle with a simple vinaigrette.

Run, don’t walk, to Orr’s to get some fresh pears this season. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.